The Leila Sailing Trust is a registered charitable incorporated organisation (registered charity number 1166936) and was established in 2008 to restore, and bring into sustainable use as a sail training vessel, the Leila, a 40ft gaff cutter rigged sailing yacht.
The Trust’s objective is to provide education opportunities through sail training on the Leila for people from Norfolk and Suffolk and particularly Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth. The Trust focuses particularly in providing opportunities for those young people who might not otherwise obtain them.
There are increasingly fewer traditional wooden sailing boats that are accessible to the community on the East Coast. Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft are areas of significant economic and social deprivation and this project will provide young people, especially those with limited incomes, with opportunities for social and personal development, to learn about their marine heritage and to develop practical skills in sailing. When not in use, Leila is usually moored alongside the Heritage Quay in Lowestoft to allow managed public access for all of the community.
Leila is a rare example of a gentleman’s sailing yacht from the late Victorian era, built in 1892 by F Wilkinson of Charlton for a barrister who sailed with the Royal Temple Yacht Club at Ramsgate and won the 1904 Round Britain Race. She is one of the five oldest sailing yachts still sailing in the UK, and is included on the National Register of Historic Vessels.